On DoD

DoD's latest plan to manage its "total force" of servicemembers, civilians and contractors

Last year, the White House called on all federal agencies to draw up plans to reduce the government's civilian workforce. The Defense Department responded with a plan that explicitly rejected the presumption that civilian employees are too numerous, calling them an essential part of the total force, and asserting it needs more of them, not fewer. In this week's edition of On DoD, Thomas Hessel, the department's deputy director for total force manpower and resources joins Jared Serbu to discuss what the Pentagon has termed a "bold shift" in its approach to managing civilian employees.

On DoD
00:00:00 6/26/2018

Past Episodes

It has been a little over a year since the Army began making some fairly monumental changes to its IT networks, including by cancelling the $6 billion dollar Warfighter Information Network Tactical (WIN-T). Two of the senior Army leaders who've been working on what's next join us to talk about what's happened in the months since the Army determined that the network it has is not the network it needs. 

Later, we discuss organizational and training changes in Army cyber and electronic warfare with Maj. Gen. John. Morrison, the commanding general of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Ga. 

Also, a brief discussion with Marten Mickos, the CEO of HackerOne, on DoD's latest round of contract awards to expand its "Hack the Pentagon" initiative. 

00:00:00 10/30/2018
If you've never heard of a Defense Department organization called Joint Task Force Civil Support, that's understandable. And arguably, it's a good thing. JTF-CS may be the smallest task force in the military's force structure: its headquarters at Fort Eustis, Virginia, has less than 200 people working there, and it's main mission is to organize the military's response to a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack in the United States. Our guest this week is Maj. Gen. Bill Hall, who became the commander of JTF-CS earlier this year. He says he's wanted to command the task force ever since he learned of its existence a decade or so ago. He talked with Jared Serbu about why that's the case.
00:00:00 10/10/2018
The general topic of human capital management has been on the Government Accountability Office's list of federal "high risk" areas since 2001. But the Defense Department has come to the conclusion that deficiencies in its own HR workforce is one significant factor. The HR profession, itself, is at high risk, officials say. On this week's show, Veronica Hinton, DoD's deputy chief human capital officer talks with Jared Serbu about a new effort to reinvigorate the HR workforce with new training, more strategic management, and perhaps, eventually, a simplified regulatory structure.
00:00:00 9/29/2018
The Army wants to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help its electronic warfare officers sort out signal from noise on the battlefield. And to pick the best solutions, it's using an innovative approach. Instead of a traditional procurement, it gave industry and academia a set of challenges, using real-world data from Army sensors. Rob Monto, the Emerging Technologies Director for the Army Rapid Capabilities Office, joins Jared Serbu to talk about the results.
00:00:00 9/11/2018
For the second year in a row, the Defense department's inspector general has just released a "compendium" of open recommendations. The document is a list of all the recommendations the DOD IG has issued to the Pentagon that have gone unresolved for a year or more. There are 1,558 of them, including 56 that have been open for at least five years. The compendium also singles out 33 recommendations that the IG says could save the department $2.3 billion dollars if DoD implemented them. Troy Meyer, the assistant DoD inspector general for audit joins us to discuss the compendium. Also, the Defense Department recently announced it's changing the name of its Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, dropping the word "experimental." The Pentagon says the change reflects the "permanence" of what's now called DIU and the ongoing need to engage with nontraditional firms in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. But there's more going on than just a name change. Sean Heritage, DIU's acting managing partner, joins us to share details.
00:00:00 8/21/2018
The Army already owns what amounts to fully-functional city it uses that it uses for traditional military training events in southeastern Indiana. But until recently, it hasn't been used for cyber training. Officials have high hopes that a new set of exercises at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center will give cyber protection teams a much more realistic training experience than they'd get at the "cyber ranges" DoD currently operates. Ed Skoudis and John Nix from the SANS institute join us to discuss the "Cybertropolis" environment SANS has been helping the Army build in southeastern Indiana. Also on this week's show, Chris Cornillie from Bloomberg Government talks with Jared about Bgov's latest analysis on DoD's spending on other transation agreements. And Bill Woods joins us from the Government Accountability Office to talk about GAO's latest recommendations to revitalize DoD's moribund processes for buying commercial goods and services.
00:00:00 8/14/2018
Ever since they first announced the idea last Fall, Army leaders have intended the new Army Futures Command to serve as a single entity to oversee the service's sprawling acquisition and modernization bureaucracy. AFC is now up and running in Austin, but the hardest parts of achieving the initial vision are yet to be accomplished. Our guest this week is Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley, the commander of the Army Futures task force that's been leading the design of the new command. He talked with Jared Serbu about governance and cultural challenges the Army still faces.
00:00:00 7/31/2018
On this week's edition of On DoD, we go a bit deeper into Federal News Radio's series, Danger at High Speed: OTAs in Action. This edition of the program features some of the extended interviews Scott Maucione conducted with acquisition experts as part of the reporting process for his two-part series on the Defense Department's use of acquisition authorities: -- Angela Styles, a former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, now a partner at Bracewell. -- David Berteau, the president of the Professional Services Council and a former assistant secretary of Defense for logistics and materiel readiness -- Scott Amey, the general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight
00:00:00 7/24/2018
For the Navy, a new $100 million other transaction agreement focusing on information warfare isn't just a way to turn government requirements into prototypes and fielded products at a faster clip than is possible under Federal Acquisition Regulation. It is that, but the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command sees the value in the Information Warfare Research Project as a way to pull new ideas from industry at the same time it's asking companies to solve specific problems. Bill Deligne, the deputy executive director of SPAWAR's Systems Center Atlantic joins Jared Serbu to talk about IWRP's objectives, including how it plans to maintain proper governance and oversight in the world of OTAs, where most of the government's usual acquisition rules don't apply.
00:00:00 7/17/2018
Naval Supply Systems Command is not suffering from a lack of data. But the information it holds about its responsibilities to move food, parts and supplies around the world tends to be unstructured, trapped in legacy IT systems, and not used on a day-to-day basis to help the command make better business decisions. NAVSUP is exploring ways to change that via a pair of prototype programs, both focused on the way the command does its contracting. Kurt Wendelken, NAVSUP's assistant commander for supply chain IT talks with Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu about the prototypes, and the workforce's role in helping to develop them.
00:00:00 6/25/2018

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